Could you do without a resume?
by Resume Digest on 04 Feb 2013 permalink
The moment you hand over a brief of your employment history you are inviting people to fit you into a pigeonhole. The problem? You're not a pigeon.
Fear is an extremely powerful motivator in the recruitment process where prejudice abounds. Your mission? By-pass the process altogether and be remarkable.
This is your choice: go for compliance and be the best (cheapest?) disposable cog that will fit the corporate machine. The alternate is to let your reputation go ahead of you. Let three reliable references laud your past achievements and show how you saved the day in a sticky situation.
What about a cover letter addressing all the "must-have" spelt out in the job advertisement - not in the first person, but through your references.
Do you think those people will need a bit of help to sing your praises? Certainly. Just like you draft a contract for someone else to sign, your references will receive from you a document to put their name to. That will be no other than the minutes of a prior telephone conversation where you reviewed with them how your past accomplishments would be the perfect launch into the new position you are contemplating...
The purpose of the exercise is not to get you the job or negotiate your remuneration. Your assignment? Get yourself in front of the decision makers for an interview.
Because you are one of a kind you should not let yourself be railroaded into a straightjacket type position. If people appreciate your skills and your background they will create a new position for you.
You no longer play the recruitment game where people add up your compliance score. In the first instance what people say about you has more weight than what you might say about yourself - especially if those people are some authority figures your prospective employer knows about.
All you have to do when you turn up for the interview is to confirm those positive vibes by giving evidence after evidence that all that was said about you is indeed true.
If you are passionate about your work, if you have fire in your belly, if you bring new insight as to how you might help them reach their corporate goals - then it will shine through and they will love you to bits.
What if a member of the panel will be one of your peers and becomes jealous? You have to sell yourself to both the boss and the subordinate. They both have different things at stake and different agendas. Sometimes people are afraid of hiring someone too smart because they fear you might take them over.
Your tactic is to demonstrate how a successful person creates a draft for the whole organisation where new opportunities are being created left, right and centre.
Like the flu, enthusiasm is catching. Who said work had to be boring?
Resolving the interview's 5+5 questions
by Resume Digest on 07 Jan 2013 permalink
Believe it or not a job interview is just as much a dicey affair for the employer as it is for the candidate. The whole power play can be summed up in just 5 questions in each camp which actually mirror each other.
For the employer:
Why do you apply for this role?
Are you knowledgeable about our industry and are you acquainted with our company ethos? Recruiters dislike people who put their hand up for a job without checking if the role will fit them.
What would you do to address our problem?
What is your track record in bringing about a successful outcome? Have you tackled this issue before? Chances are this candidate will just repeat what he did in the past - let's see the track record.
Are you a team player?
Will you blend in with our existing staff and cooperate rather than exacerbate the situation? Will this person be happy with us or will he move on at the first opportunity? Can a cheerful attitude be passed on to the people we already have? Can some informal coaching be taking place on the job?
What makes you different from the other candidates?
Why should we hire you? What is the significant difference that would make us feel we have spotted the right person out of this crowd?
Can we afford you?
Is this guy prepared to work within our budget?
For the candidate:
What is this job about?
Will I be satisfied and fulfilled working here? Am I going to learn something new?
What skills do you need?
How much of a learning curve is this going to be? Will I need re-training? How can I re-use what I already know?
What is the culture of the place?
Can these people be trusted? Are they playing a game of office politics? Do they keep their word? Do they stand by their employees? What about transport arrangements? Is the office space a good working environment or do they squeeze as many cubicles as can fit on the floor space? What about canteen or lunch break, staff kitchen, gym, kindergarten?
What is my drawcard to stand out from the competition?
Have I spotted a need I could fulfil in an elegant and effective way? Do I bring sorely needed extra skills into this outfit?
Can I get the pay I want?
How can I negotiate the price I believe I am worth? What fringe benefits will I get? What is the policy on yearly reviews and wage increases?
Finally remember that some interviews will get you nowhere for no fault of your own. Some people have their mind set on hiring a friend but have to interview a list of candidates to comply with the procedures. Just use each interview as a practice run to sharpen you listening and negotiating skills.
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